Last updated: Jul 21, 2016
misconception-adhd-dumb
ADHD is a true medical disability—not an excuse for kids to act out or be lazy.
(ISTOCKPHOTO)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) requires a clinical diagnosis: A doctor makes the call based on your self-reported symptoms and medical history. Because there is no blood test or X-ray that gives solid proof of its existence, some people may have a hard time believing that ADHD is a real disorder, or that there is a medical cause for many of the disorder's symptoms.

 

 

Children with ADHD have been called troublemakers and spoiled brats, and undiagnosed adults may go through life labeled lazy or dumb. Skeptics may think, "Doesn't everyone lacks focus sometimes? You just have to push through it." But in reality, it's not that easy for ADHD patients, says Adelaide Robb, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

"People who really have this condition don't just hate doing their paperwork. They consistently get in trouble at work because they don't do it; they just can't do it," she says. "It's very frustrating to them because they know exactly what they want to do but they can't convey that information, no matter how hard they try."